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PDF In-depth Archive

Our in-depth articles are archived in a series of categories for easy access. Select the category to the left to display only the articles related to that category.

PDF Reflow in Microsoft Word 2013: Is it any good?

Leon Atherton

Microsoft Office 2013 is slated for release soon and users have been given a chance to get an early look at it. In this article, Leon Atherton, an IDR Solutions developer, takes a look at the new PDF reflow feature in Microsoft Word and gives his verdict.

Enterprise & Government   August 17, 2012

Adobe Reader and PDF security threats

Rowan Hanna

In recent years PDF has gotten a bit of a reputation for being a risky format, with security alerts related to Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat, and by extension PDF, being issued with some frequency. Rowan Hanna reviews the recent history of PDF exploits.

Enterprise & Government   June 04, 2012

Technical background to PDF font options

Kevin Newman

The PDF specification provides many options for the display of textual content and the related extraction of the text content. In this article I will try to highlight the key areas and terms that you will encounter when working under the hood with fonts in PDF files. Key terms that you should take note of are in bold.

Developer   March 28, 2012

What happened to the Portable in PDF?

Rowan Hanna

A huge selling point of PDF has always been that it is not limited to any one echo-system, making document exchange possible no matter the hardware or operating system being used. In this article Rowan Hanna looks at how the portability of PDF is being threatened by crippled-PDFs.

Enterprise & Government   February 20, 2012

Is EPUB a better e-book format than PDF?

Rowan Hanna

With Apple's recent release of iBooks 2 and a new application called iBooks Author, extra attention is being given to the EPUB file format, a free and open e-book standard by International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Rowan Hanna attempts to answer the question of whether it is a better format for e-books than PDF.

Developer   February 09, 2012

Possible alternative to Acrobat for Mac users

Ernest Svenson

Learning how to manipulate PDFs is critical if you want to efficiently capture and process digital information. Acrobat is the most obvious tool for the job, but the story is a bit more complicated for Mac users. If you don't need all of its features, Acrobat Pro is somewhat pricey, and Acrobat Standard is unavailable for Mac systems. PDFforLawyers.com's Ernest Svenson makes a case for his preferred Mac-based Acrobat alternative.

Enterprise & Government   September 05, 2011

EDITORIAL: The next "PDF-killer"

Dan Shea

The release of the new Computable Document Format (CDF) has been reported by some as ringing the death-knell of PDF. In this article, Dan Shea talks about the strengths, obstacles and possibilities for the new "PDF-killer".

Enterprise & Government   August 07, 2011

EDITORIAL: Control versus convenience with eBooks

Dan Shea

There has been a lot said, printed, blogged and tweeted about eBooks over the years, both good and bad. Recently, the main focus of this discussion has been the issue of copyright, along with its close companions, document security and piracy. In this article, Dan Shea takes a trip down memory lane and outlines his position of cautious optimism about the future of eBooks.

Enterprise & Government   July 23, 2011

Raising the bar

Frank Rem

Frank Rem from TallComponents writes about his experiences with PDF forms. Specifically, he sought to include a QR barcode on a PDF form, and to have it dynamically updated with the value of another form field. This article chronicles his trial and error efforts to accomplish this task in Acrobat.

Enterprise & Government   July 08, 2011

How will Acrobat's new sandbox play with my workflow?

Dan Shea

Following the addition of sandbox technology to Adobe's flagship product, people (including we at Planet PDF) have been keen to nail down the practical implications of the move. Sure, it makes PDF viewing safer, but how will it affect my elegant PDF document workflow? In this article, Dan Shea takes a look at some of the finer points of "Protected View", Acrobat's new bodyguard.

Enterprise & Government   June 30, 2011

Latest Acrobat patch beefs up security, adds sandbox

Dan Shea

Unfortunately, exploiting security vulnerabilities in Adobe's PDF products has become something of a growth industry. In response, Adobe has released major security updates to Reader (last November), Acrobat (two weeks ago) and their corresponding web browser plug-ins. These updates integrate "sandboxes" to isolate the software from system resources.

Enterprise & Government   June 27, 2011

Reader Extensions: Under the hood

Frank Rem

If a PDF document has Reader Extensions enabled, then certain features that are normally only available in Adobe Acrobat are also available in the free Adobe PDF Reader. These features include saving (form) data locally and applying digital signatures. Frank Rem takes a look "under the hood" to gain a better understanding of how Reader Extensions works.

Enterprise & Government   June 01, 2011

What are you putting in your PDF files?

Mark Stephens

PDF files are generally judged on how they appear. The problem is that a well-crafted PDF (basically, one that works) and a horrible PDF (one that doesn't) can look identical onscreen. Mark Stephens from IDRsolutions explains how to spot the difference and why it matters.

Enterprise & Government   April 19, 2011

EDITORIAL: Most PDF viewers can't handle PDF/X

Dan Shea

Report cards are in after VIGC recently tested PDF viewers for compatibility with PDF/X (PDF-based standards for printing). Sadly, the most common grade was "F". Dan Shea sings a few bars in praise of the humble Adobe Reader, and explains why you might want to save a little extra hard drive space to use it over its "leaner" competitors.

Creative & Print   April 07, 2011

EDITORIAL: Should malformed PDF files be automatically repaired?

Rowan Hanna

PDF files come in all shapes and sizes. They vary from relatively simple to mind-numbingly complex. PDFs can also differ in their degree of conformance to the PDF specification -- the bad ones are often called malformed PDFs. In this article, Rowan Hanna discusses the pros and cons of Adobe Acrobat automatically repairing these malformed PDF files.

Developer   March 21, 2011

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Adding a PDF Stamp Comment

OK, so you want to stamp your document. Maybe you need to give reviewers some advice about the document's status or sensitivity. This tip from author Ted Padova demonstrates how to add stamps with the Stamp Tool along with related comments.